July

Everyone looks at their ringing phones from time to time to roll their eyes because “that client” is calling. We all go head to head with the people we work with and tend to lock horns with some more often than others. Sometimes, in the interest of our own sanity, there are certain kinds of clients we can avoid, or at least learn how to cope with.

The Clingy Type

Everybody has probably encountered the clingy client who keeps checking in on your progress every couple of hours, even when your deadline is 10 days away. While avoiding such clients may be really tempting, it is definitely unprofessional. The best solution is to make it clear to them that you will get back to them once you have completed the assignment.

The Payment Procrastinator

Freelancers in particular have a tough time getting clients to pay, especially if either party is new at business. This kind of client is probably a freelancer’s worst kind of nightmare because their attitude shows that they don’t value your profession. Definitely steer away from such clients. Maybe they do have a reason for not being able to pay you on time but you’ll do well to hold in your submissions till after you get your payment.

The Unreachable One

Many clients complain about not being able to reach freelancers but occasionally we too get the kind of clients who don’t pick up the phone. This can be particularly annoying if the deadline for the job is close. Whenever you do get in touch with them, always set a date and time as to when you can call them next to update them on your progress. Always check your client’s working hours and make sure you know appropriate times for calling them after work.

The One Who Deems It Urgent

Then there’s the one who talks about the assignment for 10 whole minutes and wants the assignment “soonest possible”, meaning the very next day. Steer way clear of such clients, especially if they seem to be insistent about giving out assignments. It is important to make your terms clear in a situation like this and no amount of money should justify why you should take up assignments with stringent deadlines if it is not your policy to do so.

The “It’s not good enough”

No idea seems to cut it for this client. They have an obsessive need to keep brainstorming and will waste precious time flitting from one suggestion to the next, unable to settle on any one and ultimately, leaving the decision to you. They may even ask you to keep reworking your final piece, claiming that it isn’t really hitting the right note. At such times, it is best to be honest with the client and have an open discussion about what exactly they want. Remind the client that it is up to him to give you a brief and that you cannot work on anything without knowing exactly what the client needs.

At the end of the day, a large part of any work is dealing with people, so anyone is bound to meet these kinds of clients. As a digital nomad, while you do have the advantage of not meeting these people face to face, interactions with people like these can seem trying. If you find yourself wasting too much mental energy on some clients whose priority is not to get the work done, you should definitely steer clear of them.

We’ve all had those times when we question our digital nomadism for various reasons. Maybe there’s a lull in the assignments or we genuinely have run out of money or we miss our families. At some point or the other, we all contemplate the safety and security of a stable job. It’s mostly just a phase that we go through, but here are some ways to combat that low.

Remember that you chose to travel: The reason you are not stuck in a cubicle working Mondays to Fridays and craving weekends is because you wanted to escape the monotony that came along with it. While everyone may have different reasons for choosing to travel, the motivation behind your decision is the same: to break free. If you ever doubt that travelling is worth it, imagine yourself back in that cubicle and you’ll find your answer.

Revisit special places: As a reminder of why you chose to travel, go back to the places that inspired you to travel. Revisiting spots where you learnt something or had a moment of self realisation or simply felt at peace with yourself can help you remember why this nomadic life matters to you.

Head to that dream destination: Everybody has a dream trip planned, that one destination that they want to eventually head to. When you find yourself jaded by travelling because of itchy feet, head to that destination. It will remind you why you love travel and give you motivation to continue travelling. Besides, you get to plan a trip to your next dream destination.

Keep in touch with family: When homesickness hits, call home. Talking to your loved ones will definitely make you feel better. If you miss your family too much, take some time off travel and work to spend some time at home. Returning to your old room can be a pleasant change from waking up in unfamiliar hotel rooms and can be a nice break from moving around.

Take a break from digital-nomadism: Yes, we said that! If you have been on the road for long, this may wear you off. Hence, take a break from digital nomadism and spend time may be a few months by working from home, not necessarily take up a full time job. When you go back to mundane life, the magic of digital nomadism will capture you all over again.

Speak to non-digital nomads: When you speak to your buddies and family members about regular stuff, you suddenly realize that you have somehow come miles ahead of their thinking and being. They still talk about ordinary things that are crafted out of societal pressure. You definitely don’t want to be one of them again, you can’t be!

Travel changes you for the better and is the best teacher. Imagine the person you would be if you hadn’t taken the chances that enabled you to travel and learn things. While everyone considers their student days to be behind them, travel teaches you things that no one can teach you in a classroom.

You learn skills like tolerance, communication and awareness that make you a citizen of the world. Guess we can all agree that in today’s world, it is these lessons that are going to prove humanity’s worth. It beats a desk job any day.

The increasing tribe of the digital nomads work on the go, makes professional calls while lazing on the beach or call friends in different countries to share their travel stories. All this is possible in a cost-effective way due to the plethora of apps available. Apps, lifeline for our community, make our lives simpler as we book tickets, check restaurant reviews, check currency rates, learn language translations, edit images, call friends across borders and many more.
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In today’s world, a desk job that isn’t 9-5 is still considered an anomaly in society. In less aware company it is synonymous with ‘not being serious about life’. Even our parents’ generation may not understand that being a digital nomad is in fact, no less serious than a “job”. Most parents are just clueless about how to tackle society’s confused reactions to them having children who “waste money” on travelling rather than making life plans to “settle down”. Continue Reading

For all of us in the business of freelancing, let’s be honest, we’re broke more often than not. The endless vicious circle of “quit job – no money to travel – get a job – no time to travel” is a hard one to escape. Even if you do have a career that entails travel, many of us find ourselves stuck in our hotel rooms tapping away at our laptops rather than taking time off to get out. While there is no perfect way to achieve this, here is how digital nomad strikes work-travel balance:
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